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Effective Community Engagement for Sustainability: Wombat Community Forest Management Case Study

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The first significant government sponsored community-based forest management project in Australia was initiated in Central Victoria in 2002. This paper analyses the initial stage of the Wombat Community Forest Management Pilot Project. The paper develops a functional concept of 'effective community' for structuring community engagement in these kinds of natural resource management projects. The effective community has characteristics in common with a community of interest, adopts a bioregional perspective, embodies the values of environmental stewardship and interacts in a fully informed way as a 'discursive community' ( Meppam 2000 ). The paper offers general advice for organising effective community engagement in such projects and 12 recommendations for governments developing similar initiatives elsewhere.

Keywords: Community forest management; e-governance; public participatory planning systems; sustainability

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: RMIT University, Melbourne Australia

Publication date: November 1, 2004

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